Lewiston Mayor Carl Sheline talks Tuesday morning with Judy Webber as she leaves Longley School after voting in the runoff election between Sheline and challenger Jon Connor. “It takes a lot for me to come out. I voted for you, but you need a haircut,” she joked before walking to the parking lot. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

LEWISTON — Carl Sheline has won a second term as mayor after beating challenger Jon Connor by 122 votes in Tuesday’s runoff election.

With results posted just after 9 p.m., the tally was 2,391 to 2,269, representing a turnout of 16%, down considerably from the Nov. 7 election which saw a 29% turnout. In that election, Sheline gained 45% of the vote, and had roughly 600 more votes than second-place finisher Connor, however Lewiston requires a clear majority of 50% plus at least one vote to win the mayor’s seat.

Sheline’s second term will be three years due to the city’s process to create staggered terms for elected officials.

In a statement after the win, Sheline thanked voters for placing trust in him. He said in the new year he’s excited to get to work with the new City Council.

“Regardless of who won tonight, after last month’s election results I have been looking at the challenges facing our city with renewed optimism and vigor,” he said. “That’s because Lewiston voters chose council candidates who were focused on solving problems, finding consensus, and working together. I’m grateful to the voters for trusting me to continue to put those principles to work in the mayor’s office. I also applaud Mr. Connor for his commitments to work with those he disagrees with as well during this campaign. We all know those values are too rare in today’s public square.”

After results were posted, Connor said he called Sheline to congratulate him, wish him luck and offered his help in the future.


“I believe Mayor Sheline and I set the example for how to run a campaign without tearing each other down and slinging mud,” he said. “I want to thank all of my family and friends as well as the voters that supported our campaign. I ask that we all do our best to try to unite on our common goals for our city and for the betterment of all Lewiston citizens.”

Jon Connor, right, talks Tuesday morning with Marilyn Rogers as she heads into the gym at Longley School in Lewiston to vote in the runoff election between Mayor Carl Sheline and  Connor. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Sheline said in some ways, his next term will be a very different job than it was when he took office two years ago.

“Most urgently, I now lead a city working to heal and recover from the deadliest mass shooting in our state’s history,” he said. “Assisting however and wherever I can will continue to be a top priority for me, as I know it is for so many of my fellow Lewiston citizens.”

Leading up to the runoff election, five of the seven incoming city councilors supported Sheline’s reelection bid.

Sheline said he’d like to work with the incoming City Council “to make it easier for businesses to work with the city to grow, start-up, and hire, to continue our work to expand housing that people who live here can afford, and to promote and take pride in our great city, among many other priorities.”

“One thing that will always be true: you’ll still see me all around Lewiston, meeting people, listening to them, trying to find ways to make our city better. I hope you’ll come say hi,” he said.


According to City Clerk Kathy Montejo, the first mayoral runoff since 2017 went smoothly at Longley School all day, with the city able to consolidate a large number of election workers to help at the single polling location.

Because of the tight turnaround between the Nov. 7 general election and Tuesday’s runoff, the city does not use the voting machines and instead hand counted ballots.

Voters cast ballots Tuesday morning at Longley School in Lewiston for the runoff election between Mayor Carl Sheline and challenger Jon Connor. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Montejo showed a Sun Journal reporter the process used, which looks much like a hand recount when a candidate requests one following a typical machine count.

Volunteers — a combination of Democrats, Republicans and unenrolled voters — gather around a number of tables with ballots in totes, and then votes are separated and tallied by candidate into lots of 50. The ballots are double counted by different sets of volunteers to ensure accuracy and then the boxes of 50 are stacked.

Montejo said the boxes for each candidate are organized by stacks of 250, which can then be easily seen by election workers and members of the public, media or family who are awaiting results.

“Visibly, anyone who is here can start to see how the piles come out, and that is done intentionally because there’s typically a lot of tension in the room,” she said. “That way by the time I announce it, most people will already kind of know who’s leading.”

After results are announced, the ballots are put into tamper proof boxes, which are taken to City Hall. In the case that a recount is needed, the votes would already be presorted, so they would simply be counted out in lots of 50 again, Montejo said.

In the late afternoon, both Sheline and Connor said they had been at Longley School most of the day, welcoming voters. Sheline cast the day’s first ballot at 7 a.m.

Both candidates spoke to the Sun Journal last week about city issues leading up to the runoff election. While the pair differed in their views on most issues, both campaigned on the ability to put an end to the division on the City Council that has marked the current term.

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